Universal Robots Forum

Robot Demo Ideas for Makerspace/Classes

Hi, I recently acquired a UR5 in a makerspace (MakerNexus) here in Sunnyvale, CA.

I’m looking to use it to introduce the community to UR robots and help them learn about programming them and using them.

Does anyone have any suitable demos that they have done before that I can use. The idea would be to have a demo that can be run autonomously that will attract people to the robot and want to learn more the Universal Robot.

At this point I do not have and end of arm tools. But I’m open to making one.

Thank you for your help!

Justin Woo

Although I can’t really share programs, I will say the sky is really the limit here, I picked up the pendant and just testing things out had it moving in force mode, showing popups, and roughly made a sanding pattern within an hour or two. Additional I would have maybe a panel with buttons and 24vdc lights you can easily wire into the control box to show how easy it is to integrate. Lastly, try adding some UR+ URcaps these are great examples of end-effectors to add to your robot that are easy to get off the shelf and are pretty much plug and play solutions.

Some examples:

  • Moving pegs around in board using gripper
  • if you have 3d print bed, use forcemode to apply glue to surface (have not done yet but I want to try)
  • demonstrate how programs can be tethered to installation features, meaning once you program it once all you need to do to offset the program is can the feature in installation and BOOM whole program shifts.
  • Quick changer mount at tool end of arm for swapping out end-effectors really quickly.

Also important, as it is a robot and if people are going to be around it I would create safety planes and dial the safety settings to “most restrictive” or make it custom. You can always open it up more once someone gets more familiar with how it functions. Also out of an abundance of caution don’t try drilling, cutting, or have sharp tools at the end of the robot for obvious reasons.

Maybe check out the UR Academy, some great videos/interactive tutorials for initial learning, it’s where I started
UR Academy - Free-e-Learning

You can get more advanced with URscript and connecting to PC but this starts to go alittle deep into the learning but hopefully that helps!

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Thanks for the quick reply!

Just out of curiosity - What end-effectors have you used that will particularly useful and easy to integrate?

Yep, no problem. And I’m going to remain neutral here and not name any specific ones to avoid favoritism. (sorry) Let’s just say that there are a lot of easy to use end-effectors out there. This might be biased but I recommend looking at UR+ Products these are certified URcaps/software promoted by Universal Robotics for easy integration with your UR robot.

Possible end-effectors/software to start with:

  • Gripper - either soft or not, multiple uses and machine tending
  • Sander - demonstrate force mode for sanding/polishing
  • Surface Finishing Software - demonstrate pattern generation with minimal programming required
  • Dispenser - pneumatics or electric, triggering events while following defined paths
  • Screwdriving - using UR’s power force limiting and torque capabilities to tighten bolts, not a fan of this because you now have a sharp tool on you robot.
  • Camera - recognize part shapes or read barcodes

The UR+ library is continuously expanding so I would check there, again this is biased but the urcommunity and UR integrators can probably guide you to specific “easy/demo style purposed end-effectors”. Additionally, I would look on YouTube for demonstration videos on how to use them or visit the manufacturers actual website to get further information. (You can then gauge the level of effort in using the end-effector before purchasing)

Lastly, you can also resort to building your own end-effectors and integrating circuitry into them. Then you can run wiring to the tool I/O or back to the controller box (just make sure to give yourself extra slack on cables running back to the box). Humble begins start with hose clamps, zip-ties, duct tape, 3d prints, and relays. I still keep these around as offerings to the gods of innovation! Again sorry for the long answer, but hope that helps.

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Screw driving is probably something worth demonstrating, @JustinW.

Don’t let the fear of sharp edges deter you from providing plentiful and powerful options. :slight_smile: You don’t have to use an actual screwdriver… you can use socket head cap screws and attach a hex driver to the robot so no sharp edges.

Regarding grippers, there are a few to choose from, but some may be limited in capabilities compared to others. Some may only be able close at one speed and one force, others will allow you to control the speed and gripping force. So you can demonstrate picking up a heavy piece of metal and then immediately pick up a grape or tomato or egg or something. I’m a big fan of Robotiq (I have 4 Hand-i’s) but Schunk makes what appear to be diverse grippers, too.

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Thanks so much for your help and suggestions! This helps a ton!

Thank you for your suggestions!